It’s always good practice to conduct research on the person you are interested in, especially if you are contemplating taking the relationship to the next level. Most people tend to think that they are too smart to fall for scammers only to learn later on how wrong they were. The following are things to consider when researching about your online date:
The first thing you need to do when you meet someone online is to read their profile carefully. A good profile will be able to tell you a lot of things before you even start asking the person questions. However, there are a few things you should look out for while reading. Look out for grammar and vocabulary inconsistencies. If the way that your online date messages you is very different from the way he/she wrote the profile, it’s possible that it’s because the profile information was just copied off someone else.
Watch out for stories about previous relationships.
Some people will rant and tell horrible stories about their previous relationships. This is a warning sign that you should take seriously. Not only is it possible that the person has not moved on yet and is not ready for a new relationship, he/she might do it to you as well if things between you turn sour.
Look up the username.
Some people reuse their usernames on different websites. Try entering the username on a search engine like Google and see what pops up. You can learn a lot about the person this way. Even scammers sometimes reuse their usernames so it’s best to check if their names pop up along with details of a scam.
Do a search on the real name.
If you know the other person’s real name do a search for that too, try to narrow down your search by including certain keywords like the town he/she lives in. Be prepared to go through many other similar names, especially if the name you’re looking for is common.
Perform an image search.
Sites like Google Images (http://www.google.com/imghp) allow users to upload images and search for them online. You might be able to find the source of his/her profile photo if it was swiped from the Internet.
Search social networking sites
Look up his/her name on the social networking sites. If you’re lucky this might be the best information source you can find. People tend to talk a lot on their Facebook accounts. You can even check if they have the same username on Twitter.
Copy-paste letters onto a search engine.
There are some scammers who reuse their love letters. Try copy-pasting the letters you’ve received onto a search engine and see what comes up. There are several websites online dedicated to warning people about scams and scammers. They give details about scammers and what methods they’ve used. You might find out that you are one of hundreds of people who have received that same message.
If you have friends who are also on the online dating site, ask them whether they know the person you are interested in. They might know the person and be able to give you some perspective about your decision.